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In this chapter I'll show you how to make the most from technology. I want to start by talking about a simple little device that every presenter should have, the remote control. These little guys are great for public speaking. For one thing, they release me from being tethered to my laptop and lectern. That means I can be much more natural and dynamic in my presentation. Depending on the strength of the wireless signal, I may even be able to walk through, around, and behind the audience, and I should, but we'll talk about that later. Your remote might even have a few bells and whistles.
For instance, a built-in laser pointer is a great tool to have if you need to bring your audience's attention to something on the screen. But in a pinch, your mouse will do the same thing. Just give it a good wiggle during the slide show and you'll have a mouse pointer. Many remotes, or presentation mice as they're sometimes called, will also include buttons for volume control. This can be a huge advantage if you've got lots of audio and video in your presentation, saving you from running back to the laptop to adjust the volume. Some also include buttons to make the screen all black or all white, the keyboard equivalents of the B or W keys.
Again, very handy during the start and end of a slide show or during breaks. If you want to splurge a little, get a remote control that also moves the pointer like a computer mouse. This will allow you to pull up on menus, click on hyperlinks and more. And if you can do that, you really don't need access to the laptop at all. These devices range from $10-100, depending on their features, but shop around and find the one that works best for you, feels great in your hand, and has the features you'll need. Finally, don't forget some spare batteries if you're going to rely on a remote control.
This quick investment can mean the difference between connecting with your audience or not, so make sure you have one for your next presentation.
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